Thursday, January 02, 2014

The Graveyard Shift On-Call Deliveries

It wasn't too long ago when I made an unprecedented decision to work overnights to do hot shot deliveries. This decision was an indirect result of the "Thanksgiving Ultimatum" incident that I engaged against my contractor's operations team. But because my biological clock got totally screwed up, I took my chances on the dispatchers that worked the night shift.

Maybe later on, I'll delve more into details regarding that "Thanksgiving Ultimatum".

Here are some pros and cons when I'm doing hot shot deliveries at nights:

  • The commission rate seems to double at nights (from 7pm to 7am). If they aren't doubled, the pay for each delivery is still significantly higher than the commission rates during the day. This does not apply to daily orders and route coverage. Just the on-call deliveries.
  • The roads and highways aren't as busy at nights. The freeways are certainly wide open and free of traffic jams, especially after midnight.
  • I feel a better sense of peace and quiet. Driving becomes less of a job, and more like a relaxation.
  • I go home when I want to go home. 

  • I don't always get the deliveries. Depending on my location and the delivery's Point:A, if there's another driver closer to that location, dispatchers call them.
  • There's always that one or two hours of unpaid standby time. Sometimes, I can be out there for 5 hours, and not a single job is dispatched to me. This is annoying, even when I'm standing by at home.
  • It gets unbearably boring and lonely at times. 

For two weeks, this is what I did. I slept all throughout the day. Got up as late as 3pm. Started my M.D. Anderson delivery at 4pm. Went home at 7pm. Spend time with my wife and daughter while I'm on standby at home. I normally got dispatched out when my wife was getting ready for bed. Sometimes earlier. There were times when I went straight to working the night-time hot shots right after my M.D. Anderson route. 

There were two dispatchers that normally ruled the night time board. I became really good friends with one of them. I almost never turned down any jobs she sent my way. But we did have a good rhythm going. I liked the way she dispatched, and the way she covered each region of Houston. If there was a part of town she did not have covered, I played the pinch-hitter and covered the void.

Two weeks later, my supervisor gave me a list of routes where he needed coverage. Many of my fellow drivers by day are taking days off or going on vacation. But for the money, I agreed to it. I'm back at the day shift again, covering routes and special assignments. 

It won't be until further notice when I will be able to work overnights again. But I do miss being nocturnal. 

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